It’s no secret that body image struggles are an epidemic that plague the female population.
According to Now.org (National Organization for Women), by age thirteen, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach age seventeen.
With these deep-rooted insecurities being ingrained in our minds at such a young, impressionable age, it’s no wonder that many adult women still face the same battles.
Everywhere we turn we’re bombarded with the cultural pressures of being thin—whether it be the latest fad-diet ad, overly filtered Instagram models, or the cover of Vogue, taunting your cellulite with those photoshopped thighs.
The war with weight and body image is real—and it can manifest in deadly ways, whether it be in the form of shame-based identities, eating disorders, or body dysmorphia, as one real mama talks about in her latest Facebook post.
Blogger Stephanie Hanrahan of Tinkles Her Pants shared her own personal struggles post-pregnancy in an honest post that has helped many women feel less alone in their unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies.
Read Stephanie’s insightful message in full below:
“I can’t believe how fat I thought I was here.
I was a medical mystery while pregnant; dieting and exercising and still gaining 80 pounds. After I had Campbell, I was able to get down to this photo, but I still thought I was so big I would only sun myself in our backyard. I wouldn’t even let my husband see me except with the lights off.
It’s not rational; it’s body dysmorphia.
I think about my body or food nonstop. I obsess over too much, too little. I shame myself for a handful of chips. I wake up in the morning and already know my weight based on how my stomach feels.
I recently heard an accomplished, size zero, author/activist say that 50% of her daily thoughts are about her body. I’d rival her and say mine sit around 70.
What a shame. I know our minds were made for so much more.
I can’t wrap up this post with a pretty little bow, because I’m still a work in progress. I wish I was as thin as I was in this photo, but that girl was still pretty miserable.
So now, my wish has shifted.
I just want to be free from believing that my weight holds my worth.”